Thursday, February 22, 2007

some Korean Films

After a week, full of craziness and sleepless nights, I guess I needed to charge up the batteries and just relax and watch easy, entertaining films. I found that Korean films, and precisely crime, thriller Korean films are rather suitable for such a mood.
Although they seem to be rather alike and I will surely forget them in a couple of weeks - or perhaps even in a few days, there is still a certain thrill that keeps me distracted despite my sleepy, almost somnolent state. It's rather ironical watching crime, semi-action films during these moments...

So Sunflower (Kang Seok-beom, 2006), Cruel Winter Blues (Lee Jeong-Beom, 2006), Tazza : The High Rollers (Choi Dong-hun, 2006), all made in 2006, all dealing with the gangster, crime world, and all focusing on the character development, and usual themes su ch as individual destiny & fate, friendship/brotherhood, characters with a heavy past, revenge, betrayal and so on... However all are very well-played, especially Sol Kyung-Gu in Cruel Winter Blues (whose outstanding performances in Oasis or Peppermint Candy by Lee Chang-dong were already very noticeable), it's a pity that the film slipped into a melodramatic ending, the film offered good character studies even though the story is known. A bit more cliché, however very well-executed, was Tazza : The High Rollers, a film about gambling and gamblers based on a comic which takes all the ingredients of a film noir (non linear narrative structure with flashbacks, voice-over, typical characters such as the femme fatale, the greedy, corrupted ones....) but succeed in keeping the pace all way to the end. Sunflower was probably the less good one and less "original" but shares with Cruel Winter Blues the anti-happy ending ...

Finally I watched JSA (Park Chan-wook, 2000) with Song Kang-ho (another excellent Korean actor, often plays in Park Chan-wook, and in Kim Ji-woon such as in The Foul King, but also Memories of Murder, Green Fish and receltly in The Host, and in the next Lee Chang-dong's film..), Lee Byung-hun (A Bittersweet Life by Kim Ji-woon) and Lee Yeong-ae (the Lady Vengeance). So with a solid cast, interesting script and well-craft storytelling, the film is as good as expected.



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